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Deceased Resident Members of the Bar
(F - G)
Luther A. Faber
Luther A. Faber was the son of Henry Stough and Sarah Ann (Albert) Faber, born at Oak Hall, Center County, Pa., November 2, 1851. His father and family moved from Center County to Turbotville when Luther’s brother, Willis H. Faber, was 12 years old, They attended school at Turbotville Academy and the McEwensville Academy. Mrs. Henry Faber was the daughter of John Albert, a minister in Turbotville, and his brothers taught in the Turbotville Academy.
Luther Faber was admitted to the Lycoming County bar in 1879, and appears in the 1877-79 directories as a law student and teacher. He is listed in the 1881-82 directory as a lawyer, and then disappears from the directory. He taught school in Kansas, then returned to Philadelphia, and again to Kansas. He was in Philadelphia during the First World War. He next became Superintendent of Schools in Wichita, Kansas, and he died February 6, 1941, at the Masonic Homes, Kansas, and is buried in the Masonic plot in the Maple Grove Cemetery. He presumably practiced law only for a short time, and then only in Williamsport.
William P. Fender
Mr. Fender was admitted to the Lycoming County bar in 1887, but so far as I can find out never practiced law, but was associated with the Williamsport Candy Company during his active life. He died December 14, 1932.
Patrick Henry Fierro
Patrick H. Fierro was born June 9, 1917 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and was educated in the public schools of this city, graduating from Williamsport High School in 1935.
He entered Temple University, Philadelphia, and received his A.B. degree there in 1939. Remaining at Temple for his legal training, he took his LL.B. degree in 1943. On May 6, 1944, he was admitted to Lycoming County Bar, and to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court November 14, 1949.
After 1961 he entered into a legal association with his friend and half-brother, Anthony D. Miele, Esquire, still a member of this bar. While in college, Pat was very active in swimming and in tennis, despite the loss of one arm in an accident.
He was married to the former Evelyn Bowman, who survived him. The couple had six children, Sandra, Patricia, Ursula, Mary, Louis and Patrick, Jr., the latter a practicing attorney of Rochester, New York.
Patrick H. Fierro was a first class attorney, often blunt and forthright in his methods. He was an able trial attorney. He was often referred to as “Firey Fierro” which was a tribute to his ability as a trial lawyer. He won many verdicts as a result of his eloquent and persuasive summations. He enjoyed a lucrative practice, largely in criminal, divorce, and family law. He became interested in racing in later years, and owned a stable of thoroughbreds. He enjoyed moderate success on race courses in Maryland and New Jersey.
His death occurred very suddenly on February 18, 1978.
Martin Mare Fine
Martin M. Fine was born June 16, 1921, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, the son of Samuel and Fannie Fine. His death occurred in the early morning of November 1, 1987, at his residence in Williamsport, approximately eight years after he underwent coronary bypass surgery.
Surviving him were his wife, the former Sharon Cahill, and two stepdaughters, Michelle S. Steumpfie and Catherine C. Steumpfie, at home. He was also survived by three sisters: Mrs. Pearl Yedwab, Patterson, New Jersey; Mrs. Rae Sapolsky, Montoursville, Pennsylvania; and Mrs. Lena Feinberg of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Mr. Fine attended public schools of Williamsport, graduating in 1939. He then entered Dickinson Junior College, leaving it for Army service during World War II. He spent four years in the Signal Corps, leaving service January 23, 1946, and enrolled in Bucknell University, graduating there in 1949 with a B.A. degree. He entered George Washington University Law School, graduating in 1952. On November 17, 1955, he was admitted to the Lycoming County Bar.
Martin Fine initially practiced law with Donald Cuozzo, Esquire, until Mr. Cuozzo left this area in the 1960’s. He also practiced with Richard T. Eisenbeis, Esquire, until Mr. Eisenbeis’s death in 1981; and with John Felix, Esquire, from 1970 until June of 1987. Mr. Fine further practiced with Peter Burchanowski, Esquire, from 1977 until May, 1986, and with David Raker, Esquire, from 1984 until his death.
He was a former solicitor, from 1967-1972, for the county sheriff’s office. He taught a real estate course at the Williamsport Area Community College between 1974 and 1980.
He was solicitor for a county-wide justice of the peace organization when each ward or voting precinct had its own alderman or justice of the peace.
He was the unsuccessful Republican candidate for district attorney in 1963, the year that Henry Hager, Esquire, received the Republican nomination and was subsequently elected district attorney.
At the time of his death, Martin Fine was a member of the executive committee of Lycoming Law Association. He was a member of Ohev Sholom Congregation and solicitor for its cemetery. He was a member of B’nai B’rith, and a former member of the board of the Bethune-Douglass Community Center and the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Lycoming County. He was also a member of Lodge 106, F. and A. M., and the Williamsport Consistory, also of Steinbacher Post 617, American Legion, South Williamsport.
Dean Raemore Fisher
Dean Raemore Fisher was a lifelong resident of Lycoming County. He was born in Jersey Shore in 1924, the son of Hazel Raemore and Neil Wedge Fisher. His mother, Hazel Raemore Fisher, had been active in Democratic politics in Central Pennsylvania for many years and his interest and dedication to the Democratic Party came naturally.
Following his education in the Jersey Shore public schools, Mr. Fisher enrolled in the Dickinson Junior College (today Lycoming College) in Williamsport. He interrupted his studies, in 1942, to enlist in the United States Navy where he spent four years on active duty during World War II. After his service was over Mr. Fisher attended Muhlenberg College where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree. In 1950, he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law with an LL.B. degree.
Mr. Fisher was admitted to practice before the several courts of Lycoming County, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and the Federal Courts. He was a member of the Lycoming Bar Association and the American Bar Association. From 1956 to 1959 he was the Solicitor for Lycoming County, Pennsylvania and had served as Solicitor for the Lycoming County Housing Authority, the South Williamsport School Authority, the South Williamsport Area School District and Old Lycoming Township.
From 1961 until 1966 Dean served as a Commissioner of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, having been appointed by the late Governor David L. Lawrence. He also served as a Referee for the Bureau of Employment Security from 1971 to 1984.
His fraternal affiliations include LaBelle Vallee Lodge No. 232, F. & A.M., Jersey Shore, the Williamsport Consistory, Irem Temple Shrine and the Williamsport Shrine Club.
He was formerly a member of the George W. Pepperman Post No. 36, American Legion, Jersey Shore, and a member of the Garrett Cochran Post No. 1, the first American Legion Post in Pennsylvania. Mr. Fisher served as Solicitor for this Post from 1957 to 1959; during the same period he served as Deputy District Commander for the 16th District of the American Legion.
He held memberships in the Williamsport Kiwanis Club and the Williamsport Wheel Club.
He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, where he served as Trustee and Treasurer. He served as a member of the Board of Managers of The Williamsport Hospital for 36 years. Dean also served for many years on the Board of Directors of the North Central Pennsylvania Health System, the parent corporation of The Williamsport Hospital. When the Susquehanna Health System was formed in 1995, he was elected to serve on its Board of Directors.
Dean Fisher was an avid and active outdoorsman. He particularly loved fishing. He was a member of the Texas & Blockhouse Fish and Game Club since 1962. His love of Pine Creek, Cammal and all that makes Northcentral Pennsylvania special drove him to enthusiastically join in the effort to establish the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy. Dean was selected to its Board of Directors in 1990 and served as Chairman from 1992 to 1996. Because of his leadership and foresight on behalf of the Conservancy, the position of Director Emeritus was created, and he held that position until his death. Following his death, the Conservancy created an endowment in his honor and memory.
Dean Fisher died on April 13, 2000.
Harry Chester Fithian, Sr.
The first Fithian ancestor in America was William Fithian, who died in East Hampton, Long Island, N. Y., between 1678 and 1682. He is said to have come from Wales, was a soldier under Cromwell and was present at the execution of Charles I. After the restoration of the monarchy under Charles II, he was proscribed as a regicide and obliged to flee the country. He came first to Boston, then to Lynn, from there to New Haven, and finally settled on Long Island.
His son, Samuel, married Priscilla Burnet, of Southampton, Long Island, and they moved to Fairfield, Cumberland County, New Jersey. Later the family moved to Greenwich, New Jersey, where Harry C. Fithian was born, and some of the family still reside.
The grandson of Samuel I, Joel Fithian (b. September 29, 1748, d. Nov. 9, 1841), married second, Elizabeth Beatty, daughter of Rev. Charles Beatty. She had been the wife of his first cousin, Philip Vickers Fithian, a Presbyterian missionary, who died during the Revolutionary war of camp fever while serving as an army chaplain.
Joel’s father was very active in political life, and hence Joel became familiar with the duties and responsibilities that attend a public career. He was therefore well informed regarding current events of the day and undoubtedly acquainted with the reception which had attended the tea parties given at the various ports. It is said that Philip V. Fithian to some extent inspired the Greenwich tea party, perhaps reminding them of the Boston Tea Party held December 16, 1773, about a year before.
Joel then was one of the leaders of the Cumberland County patriots who showed their resistance to British tyranny and unjust taxation by burning a cargo of India tea, on the evening of December 22, 1774. The tea had arrived there unexpected, as the captain had been warned not to go to his original destination, Philadelphia. So he sailed his ship up the Cohansey River to Greenwich, and placed the tea in the cellar of loyalist Dan Bowen’s house on Market Square. Although the landing of the tea was conducted in secrecy, the Greyhound’s mission was soon discovered. Disguised as Indians, of course, the little band of patriots left the Fithian home and speedily effected an entrance to the building where the tea was stored. The boxes were passed from hand to hand into a neighboring field, where the broken cases and contents made a goodly pile. Soon the flames lighted up the village and the surrounding countryside. Little did these men think that their act would be remembered for generations, and ultimately commemorated in 1908 by a monument erected with funds raised by the D. A. R. and the Historical Society of New Jersey.
Joel’s part in this act of patriotism led to his election as Sheriff in 1776, an office attended with much danger in the exciting days of the early part of the Revolutionary war. He also served in 1777 and 1778, when feeling his presence needed in the field, he commanded a company in Colonel Enos Seeley’s battalion, and was in the battle of Princeton and other engagements. He was elected to the legislature in 1799, 1791, 1793 and 1798, was a member of the Council. Other ancestors of Harry C. Fithian were in the Greenwich tea party as well, the Ewings, Moores, Seeleys, Sheppards, &c., most of whom also served in the Continental army. Joel was the great-great-grandfather of Harry C. Fithian.
Harry C. Fithian was born in Greenwich, New Jersey, the second son of John Nelson and Abigail (Moore) Fithian. A cousin of Mr. Fithian was a Judge of the Cumberland County (N. J.) courts for many years.
Mr. Fithian was educated in the public schools and graduated from the West Jersey Academy; Bucknell University, A. B., 1898; A. M., 1900. He was an instructor at Bucknell for two years, and then studied law in the offices of H. C. and Seth T. McCormick.
In a letter to his parents, written from Lewisburg, Pa., April 16, 1899, Mr. Fithian explained his decision not to go to law school and his meeting with Mr. McCormick:
“Well, I feel a little more settled in my plans for next year than I did a week ago. I have been undecided whether to strike out for a law school; teach a while longer, or read law in some lawyer’s office. I have decided on the latter thing with a combination of the second. . .I have not the time nor the money to spend for a law school course...The most prominent law firm in Williamsport is H. C. and S. T. McCormick, the one is a Republican, the other is a Democrat. I aspired for their office. I asked Judge McClure to please write me a recommendation, or rather, a note of introduction. . . Dr. Harris kindly wrote me a note also. Yesterday morning I used the long distance telephone for a quarter and found that I could see Mr. McCormick (Hon. H. C.). I boarded the train and reached Williamsport at 12:25. Mr. McCormick would be in his office at 2 P.M.
“I went and got a full course dinner for 25c; took a stroll about town and reported at the office just three minutes of two. I might say that Mr. McCormick was Attorney General of Pennsylvania under the former Governor. He is to take a trip to Europe soon; sails on the 29th inst. . . The illustrious gentleman came in with his high silk hat, at just 5 minutes after two. There were several waiting to see him, among them the Sheriff. I was first, but I allowed that illustrious dignitary to go in ahead of me.
In a very few minutes I walked into his private office and said. “Mr. McCormick, I believe,” and extended my hand. He shook it and asked me to be seated. I immediately opened my two letters, handed them to him and watched him read them. He then went to his partner’s office and they held a consultation. . . He asked me a few questions and then said they were about as full at present as they could be, . .I told him I would like to teach another year, but register now. . . They agreed to take me, and Mr. Peaslee, the other member of the firm, took me over and introduced me to Charles J. Reilly, the president of the board of examiners. Mr. Reilly was very kind and gave me a list of subjects that I would be examined in. We have to take a preliminary examination in Lycoming County. [He then gave a list of the subjects he was to study, and then turned to family matters].”
He was admitted to the Lycoming County bar, January 13, 1902. He spent two years in the Federal Land Office in the Department of the Interior, Washington, D. C.; served as an assistant district attorney, 1912-15 ; acting district attorney during the illness of W. K. Bastian, in 1927. He was president of the Ly coming Law Association in 1920. He was a member of Pine Street Methodist Church. He served as Master of Lodge No. 707, F. & A.M., in 1922.
He was survived by his widow, Mabel Carpenter; a daughter, Grace Louise, wife of Richard R. Sheaffer; two sons, Harry C., Jr., and John William; and one sister, Hannah M. Fithian, of Greenwich, New Jersey.
Harry Chester Fithian, Jr.
Harry Chester Fithian, Jr. was born October 18, 1912, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, the son of Harry C. Fithian, Sr. and Mabel C. Carpenter Fithian.
Harry, Sr. was a member of Lycoming County Bar, and served as an assistant district attorney from 1912 to 1915, and acting district attorney in 1927. Harry, Jr. attended the public schools in Williamsport, graduated from Williamsport High School in 1930, and then enrolled in Bucknell University.
He was graduated from Bucknell with an A.B. degree in 1934. While in college he was a member of the boxing team, took part in dramatic productions as a member of the Cap and Dagger Society, and joined Delta Sigma—a local fraternity that also played a large role in student dramatics.
He attended the Law School of the University of Pennsylvania, receiving his LL.B. degree in 1937. While a student, he served his law clerkship with the late Honorable Samuel H. Humes prior to the latter’s elevation to the bench.
He was admitted to practice before the several courts of Lycoming County on October 4, 1938, and before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in 1939, also the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania.
On August 24, 1940, he married Mary S. Reese. They have a son, David T. Fithian; a daughter, Carol F. Gardner; and four grand children.
In December of 1942, Mr. Fithian became an ensign in the U.S. Navy and entered active service as a communications officer from that time until October of 1945, when he was separated from service with the rank of lieutenant. During 24 months of service, he was stationed in Bermuda.
Upon his return to law practice, he became associated with the late Frederick Y. Dietrick, Esquire, until the latter’s death. Later he affiliated with the firm of Stuart, Murphy, Hager and Smith, and subsequently resumed private practice until the time of his death. He was an assistant district attorney for 16 years, serving under three district attorneys: Paul W. Reeder, Esquire, for four years; Henry C. Hager, Esquire, for four years; and Allen E. Ertel, Esquire, for eight years. Finally, he was a special master for the Family Court Office from 1980 until his death. He served as president of the Lycoming Law Association in 1955.
Mr. Fithian, was a life-long member of Pine Street United Methodist Church, holding from time to time various positions in that congregation, including chairmanship of the administrative board, lay leader, and membership on the board of trustees.
At one time he was actively involved with the Boy Scouts. He served a term as president of the local Mental Health Association, belonged to the American Legion, the Ross Club and the Rotary Club, in which he was president in 1973-74.
Mr. Fithian’s Masonic career was distinguished. He was a member of John F. Laedlein Lodge No. 707, being worshipful master in 1969. He joined the Scottish Rite, Valley of Williamsport, on April 29, 1955, took active part in the degree work, was a past most wise master of the Chapter of Rose Croix, orator of Williamsport Consistory for many years, and became a 33rd-degree Mason in 1969. Further, he belonged to the Royal Order of Scotland, and to Lycoming Chapter No. 509 of the National Sojourners, becoming chaplain in the latter organization, also affiliating with Capt. John Brady Camp, Hero’s of ‘76, of which he was a past commander.
Harry C. Fithian, Jr. died August 14, 1987, survived by his wife, son, daughter, four grandchildren and a brother, John William Fithian.
General Robert Fleming
The ancestors of Robert Fleming were early settlers in Chester County, Pennsylvania. John Fleming, his grandfather, was a grandson of William and Mary Moore, who settled in Chester County in 1715. The family lived at first on the east side of the Brandywine near the present town of Coatesville, but later they acquired large tracts of land on the west side of the creek in Sadsbury and West Caln Townships.
John Fleming, grandfather of Robert, was an officer in the Provincial service, a member of the Convention of July 15, 1776, and in 1778 one of the representatives from Chester County to the General Assembly. He was one of the patentees of the land belonging to the Octorara Presbyterian church, and an elder as early as 1762. He died September 2, 1814, and is buried in the graveyard attached to that church. As above stated, under Associate Lay Judge John Fleming, he was the owner of considerable land on the West Branch of the Susquehanna, near Lock Haven, where his descendants located during the Revolutionary war. His son, John, was the father of Robert, the subject of this sketch.
Robert Fleming was born May 21, 1801. When he grew to manhood, he studied law and was admitted to the Lycoming County bar in 1827. He immediately entered upon the practice of his profession here and became distinguished therein.
General Fleming, as he was called by his friends in later life, was a man of free and easy manners, social, genial and a delightful companion. During his long career as a lawyer he was engaged in many great trials. One of the greatest was the trial of John Earls at the February term, 1836, on the charge of poisoning his wife (ante). James Armstrong and F. C. Campbell appeared for the Commonwealth. The prisoner was defended by Anson V. Parsons, Robert Fleming and William Cox Ellis. General Fleming’s speech on behalf of the defendant was an elaborate and able effort and attracted much attention. Earls afterwards confessed his guilt to his counsel.
In October of that year, 1836, General Fleming was elected to the State Senate. In 1838, he was a member of the Constitutional Convention. In 1839 he was again sent to the Senate and served a second term with great credit to his constituents and himself.
General Fleming became the first president of the Lycoming Law Association at the time it was incorporated in 1870.
General Fleming was twice married, first, to Mary, only sister of Charles, Thomas W., Pearson and Samuel H. Lloyd. His second wife who survived him, was Esther F. Evans, of Philadelphia. They had two daughters, Ellen E., wife of Robert P. Allen, and Laura, who resided with her mother. General Fleming died at his home in Williamsport, May 30, 1874, aged 73 years 18 days, and is buried in the family lot in the Washington Boulevard cemetery.
Rodgers Kirk Foster
Mr. Foster was born, March 8, 1866, at Phillipsburg, Pennsylvania, the son of Rev. Milton K. Foster and Martha Rodgers Foster. His father was a Methodist minister. He had one brother, Dr. M. H. Foster, who survived him, and a sister, Mary L. Foster, predeceased him.
Mr. Foster attended Bucknell University and Dickinson College, A. B., 1886; M. A., 1887. He was official court stenographer in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, where he studied law in the office of Hon. George Orlady, first President Judge of the Superior Court when it was organized. Mr. Foster was admitted to the bar in Huntingdon County, October 9, 1888, and practiced there for a short time. He then moved to Lock Haven, Clinton County, where he was admitted on January 3, 1889, as an associate of T. C. Hipple, father of Hon. Henry C. Hipple, later president judge of the 25th judicial district. During this time he became acquainted with H. C. and S. T. McCormick, moved to Williamsport to enter their office, and was admitted to this bar, December 23, 1889. From that time until his death, with a few returns to private practice, he was associated with that firm and its successors.
He served as President of the Lycoming Law Association in 1938, also on the Admissions, and Revision of Rules of Court Committees. He was a Trustee of Dickinson Junior College, later Lycoming College, and a member of its Finance and Legal Committees, being active in procuring the charter of the latter institution.
His professional life was characterized by systematic and aggressive approach to all legal problems. Although he tried but a few cases, he bent naturally toward codification of any branch of the law with which he was occupied. Before his death, he was about to publish a work on Pennsylvania Corporations. Like all good lawyers of former days, he kept a commonplace book and referred to it constantly. Similarly, in the matter of title searches, he had prepared a book containing all the basic titles in the City of Williamsport, with a break-down for each lot, together with a locality index with cross references to the files on every property in Williamsport, the title to which he had searched.
This love of analysis also showed itself in his unpublished book on Bridge and Chess, as well as one on Greek Mythology.
Mr. Foster married Alice Chaney, of Huntingdon, Pa., (b. Apr. 15, 1866 d. Oct. 1, 1947). They had two sons, Hugh B. Foster, and Donald H. Foster. One grandchild, John R. Foster, and two great grandsons also survived Mr. Foster, who died October 6, 1950.
William H. Foucar
William H. Foucar was born July 4, 1885, in Muncy, Pennsylvania, the son of Augustus and Mame Foucar. His father was a merchant in Muncy, and William spent his early life there where he attended the public schools and was graduated from the Muncy Normal School. Following his graduation, he attended the law school of Valparaiso, Indiana, and obtained his degree in law. He began the practice of law in Chicago, then transferred his practice to Waupaca, Wisconsin. There he lived until 1931, when he re turned to his native town of Muncy, and was admitted to our bar in the summer of 1933.
He married first, Mary Welstead, of Chicago, and to this marriage, his only child, William Foucar, was born, now a resident of Baltimore, Maryland. His first wife died in 1945, and in 1947, he married Mrs. Isabelle Bates Anthony, of Williamsport, who survived him. He died February 4, 1952.
Mr. Foucar was a member of the Muncy Post No. 268, American Legion, and of the 40-et-8; Lodge No. 123, B.P.O.E., Waupaca, Wis.; Wisconsin Blue Lodge, F. & A. M.; a charter member of the Muncy Rotary Club; an organizer of Muncy Home Week in 1936; one of the founders of the Muncy Historical Society, and treasurer of the Muncy Band Association; a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Muncy, and the Lycoming Law and Pennsylvania Bar Association.
John Thomas Fredericks
John Thomas Fredericks was born at Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, on November 26, 1849, the son of Newton Wolerton and Mary (Watson) Fredericks. He entered Princeton University from his native town, and was graduated with the class of 1873. After graduation he read law for two years with the Hon. H. H. Cummin in Williamsport, and was admitted to the Lycoming County bar in September 1875. He received an A. M. degree from Princeton in 1876. He continued to practice law until his death on January 3, 1925. For a time he also engaged in the lumber and fire-brick business. But this was a side line, and he built up a considerable practice and was a man of prominence in the community. He was president of the Lycoming Law Association in 1909. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Presbyterian Church of the Covenant for more than fifteen years, and served as its President. He was also a member of the Session of the same church.
At the time of his thirtieth reunion he wrote to his college classmates : “As to my political affiliations, I am almost a party by myself, as I am opposed to some of the theories of both of the leading parties, and prefer to pick out the good of both. I however, have my preference for the Democratic party, the same as I had when I tramped the campus in 1873.”62
Mr. Fredericks married June 28, 1894, Mary Sheriff, of Mercer, Pennsylvania, and they lived a very happy life until April 1901, when his wife died. They had no children.
Admitted prior to 1856, Jesse Fulmer left here during the Civil War. He died September 11, 1898, at Hamilton, Ohio, leaving a widow, Annie, according to his will, probated in this county, in Will Book 9, page 197.
Sidney Dale Furst, Jr.
Sidney Dale Furst, Jr. was born September 5, 1904 in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. His father, Sidney Dale Furst, and his grandfather, Cline C. Furst, were lawyers. He, together with his father and his grandfather, had at the time of Mr. Furst’s death practiced law in this area for over 100 years.
Mr. Furst was graduated from the Hill School in 1922, Princeton University in 1926 and from Harvard Law School in 1929. He was admitted to the Bar of Lycoming County on September 10, 1929 and immediately became associated with Seth T. McCormick, Jr. In 1936, a partnership was formed between Seth T. McCormick, Jr., Carl W. Herdic and Sidney Dale Furst, Jr. and was known as McCormick, Herdic and Furst. The present McCormick Law Firm is a successor of that law firm. Mr. Furst died on July 9, 1969 and the firm was then known as Furst, McCormick, Lynn, Reeder and Nichols.
Mr. Furst was survived by his wife, Ruth K. Furst, four daughters, Caroline F. Carlson, Margaretta F. Stewart, Barbara Johnstone and Susan L. Maiolo, and a son, Sidney D. Furst, III.
Mr. Furst was widely known throughout the state as a prominent member of the local and Pennsylvania bars. He was president of the Lycoming Law Association in 1943. At the time of his death, he was chairman of the Lycoming County Law Association ethics committee. He was vice chairman of the civil procedural rules committee of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, a member of the federal civil procedural rules advisory committee for the Third Circuit, a member of the judicial conference of the Third Circuit, a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and chairman of the Pennsylvania Bar Committee on the integrated bar.
Mr. Furst was known nationally for his welfare activities. He was active in the Lycoming County Community Chest, having served as campaign chairman, director and its president. He was an organizer of the Lycoming United Fund, was its first president and received its red feather award in 1956. He was president of the Pennsylvania United Fund and at the time of his death, the honorary chairman of its board. He was president of the American Social Health Association, a director of the Council on Foundations and past president of the United Community Fund and Councils of America. He received the Presidential United Defense Fund citation in 1955. He received the Grit award for outstanding community service in 1956. He was chairman of the Williamsport Foundation and a director of Lycoming College. He had served as a school director of the Williamsport Area School Board.
In addition to his professional and welfare activities, Mr. Furst was an outstanding outdoorsman. He was an organizer of the Consolidated Sportsmen of Lycoming County and the president of that organization for several years. He, together with John C. Youngman, Sr. and Michael J. Maggio, organized the Highland Lake Club, a hunting and fishing organization composed of doctors and lawyers. He was a past president of the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs and was named the “Pennsylvania Sportsman of the Year” in 1952. He was a member of the New York Anglers Club, the Philadelphia Anglers Club and the London Fly Fishers’ Club of London, England. He was an owner of an Atlantic salmon fishing camp on the Miramichi River in New Brunswick, Canada. He was a member of the Gray’s Run Hunting and Fishing Club and the Dunwoody Hunting and Fishing Club.
He was a Mason, a member of the John F. Laedlein Lodge No. 707 and the Williamsport Consistory. He was a member of the Great Island Presbyterian Church of Lock Haven, Pennsylvania.
Thomas F. Gahan
Thomas F. Gahan was born in Cherry Township, Sullivan County, Pa., August 6, 1844, on a hillside farm near Dushore, of humble parentage. He began to teach school at the age of 14, and attended the Kutztown Normal School. Shortly thereafter he came to Williamsport, where he taught in the city schools.
Mr. Gahan was ambitious to create a school for the training of teachers. With the assistance of Rev. Thomas A. Griffith, he organized the Lycoming County Normal School at Montoursville on June 24th 1870. Other teachers were W. R. Bierly, a member of this bar, R. L. Christine and Miss Florence Bovard. In 1875, the Normal School was moved to Muncy, and was supported by the directors until 1877, when it became a recognized part of the school system of the state.
The first county institute was held in 1863 at the old Muncy School House. Mr. Gahan also organized the teachers’ association and teachers’ exchange, held once each month on a Saturday morning. Attendance was optional. These meetings, at a time when teachers did not have the benefit of college training, were invaluable in raising the standards of instruction in the county.
The first local institute was held at Quiggleville, Lycoming Township, in 1873, under Mr. Gahan’s leadership. Many local institutes were organized and brought good speakers, student competition and local interest in education to every rural community. During the school year, 1876-77, forty districts held institutes with a total of 15,000 people attending.
In 1873, Mr. Gahan was elected County Superintendent of Schools, re-elected in 1875 and again in 1878.
Mr. Gahan also called the first regular Directors’ convention which was held in Montoursville in 1873. Through these conventions the directors began to feel that they had a common interest in education.
It was during Mr. Gahan’s administration of school affairs in the county, that educational interest took on new life; he had the peculiar ability of inciting his teachers and students with whom he came in contact with an ambition that seemed unusual. He brought out from the country schools, a large number of young men and women who were inspired with those higher ideals that made them men and women of character in the affairs of human life. The records of our county reflect these efforts and these inspirations which he impressed upon the boys and girls of those days. Among his students who were later members of the Lycoming County Bar were Frank P. Cummings, Emerson Collins, W. W. Champion, W. E. Ritter, Otto G. Kaupp and Hon. Harvey W. Whitehead, as well as many others in other walks of professional life, each one of whom cherished a regard and a respect for his memory, and what seemed to be a personal interest in them, that is almost beyond calculation. He stood preeminent among those he inspired and helped and encouraged in the great struggle of individual effort for a place and position in life.
His zeal, vigor, skill and courage in presenting the cause of education has never been surpassed by any County Superintendent in Pennsylvania. He awakened a school sentiment that has never been lost. He defended the school system against its enemies, and strengthened it among its friends. And there are those , who in later life rose to prominence, in a wide field of endeavor, of whom he could justly have said, part of all this is mine, for I pointed out the pathway and helped to give the strength that led them to their goal.
Indeed no history of our county would be complete that over looks his very vital share. To those who knew him in the days of his achievements, and felt the thrill of his leadership, his fervent appeals and the inspiration of his words, his name will be held in abiding and loving remembrance. The County of Lycoming may forget much that is of moment in her history, but she will not forget this faithful old school master, who wrought so richly in so many lives of usefulness and renown. To my mind, the three most useful classes of persons in the world are the ministers, the physicians and the school teachers, and to this last group our fellow lawyer, Thomas F. Gahan, belongs.
Shortly after his retirement as Superintendent of Schools, he came to the bar, vide No. 314, January Term 1881, and formed a partnership with Jonathan F. Streiby, which lasted a few years. In 1883, he is listed in the city directories as practicing alone. In 1885-6, he and Orlando S. Houtz published the Sunday Breakfast Table.
In 1880, he was elected a member of the legislature and achieved considerable prominence, being regarded as one of the most efficient and able members of that body.
After years of practice at the bar, he was elected an alderman in the City of Williamsport, and served as such from 1895 to 1921.
Mr. Gahan was born with only one arm, and was described by one of his friends as a “diamond in the rough.” He believed that ignorance was the curse of the world and determined to do some thing about it. In appearance, he was stern, wore a mustache and chin beard. He was married, and had one son and one daughter, Flora. He died at his home in Williamsport, January 25, 1926.63
James M. Gamble
James M. Gamble was the second son of Judge James Gamble, and a nephew of John A. and Matthew Gamble. He was born in Jersey Shore, in 1844, received a good secondary education, and was graduated from Yale in 1867. Soon after returning from school he commenced the study of law with his father, and was admitted to the Lycoming County bar in 1870. He formed a partnership with Robert Porter Allen, which firm continued until about 1880, when the junior partner, Mr. Gamble, retired on account of ill health.
In October 1875, Mr. Gamble married Mary, daughter of the late Hon. Henry White, of Williamsport, a descendant of Col. Hugh White, who settled west of Pine Creek and was one of the Fair Play men and a signer of the famous Pine Creek Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776.
As long as his health permitted, Mr. Gamble was an active member of the community and took a deep interest in whatever was calculated to improve and benefit the City of Williamsport. In January 1875, he was elected Superintendent of the Findley Sunday School which, under his management, grew to be one of the finest Sunday Schools in the city. At the end of ten years he retired. He was also an elder in the First Presbyterian church for five years, and took an active part in the erection of the present church building. He also served for one term as a member of the Select Council from the second ward. Among other offices that he filled was that of President of the Williamsport Water Company, a director of the Williamsport Passenger Railway Company, the Bald Eagle Valley Railroad, the Lycoming National Bank, one of his father’s executors, as well as of his uncles, John A. and Matthew Gamble.
For several years he was in the habit of spending his winters in the south with his family because of his health. Some five years before his death he became interested in Eagles Mere along with several other gentlemen. They purchased the property, had the ground laid out in lots, opened streets and made other improvements, which greatly beautified the place. Under their direction it began to improve rapidly and became one of the most attractive mountain summer resorts in Pennsylvania. Among his last acts was his assistance and supervision over the erection of a chapel for religious services near his lakeside cottage. As his health declined rapidly, it was his most earnest desire to see the completion of the chapel and be present at its dedication. This he was permitted to do, and he died soon afterward, on July 16, 1888, at the age of 44. His widow, Mary White Gamble later married William Emery. He also left two children, James Gamble (who died in December 1958) and a daughter, Mrs. Martha G. Voorhees, both of Philadelphia. Another daughter died some years ago.
Richard A. Gahr
Richard A. Gahr, was born Aug. 16, 1947, in St. Marys. He was the son of Robert A. and Edith Jackson Gahr. He married the former Peg O'Malley on Aug. 15, 1970.
Mr. Gahr graduated from Elk County Catholic High School in 1965, the University of Scranton in 1969 and Temple University School of Law in 1973. He practiced law in Williamsport for 33 years, serving as both Assistant District Attorney and Williamsport City Solicitor for several years during that time. For his commitment to pro bono work he received the Equal Access to Justice Award in 1990. After his retirement from private practice, he discovered a love for teaching as a substitute teacher in several local districts.
Mr. Gahr loved to travel. His interests included architecture, photography, and contemporary art. He was an avid reader and an enthusiastic golfer.
He was an Eagle Scout and worked with the Boy Scouts of America as a former district chairman, North Penn District. His many civic contributions included membership on the executive board of the Grampian Association, the board of Lycoming Neighborhood Development Corporation, the Executive Committee of the Lycoming Law Association, and the Board of Directors of North Central Sight Services. He was an incorporator and member of the original board of St. Anthony's Center, and member of the first Main Street Organization, City of Williamsport.
Mr. Gahr was involved for many years in state and local politics. He was an active volunteer in many campaigns and was currently serving as a Democratic State Committeeman.
Mr. Gahr died on October 7, 2013.
John C. Gault, Jr.
John C. Gault, Jr. was born in Olean, New York on September 28, 1917. He was the son of John C. Gault, Sr. and Mary Emma Couling Gault.
Mr. Gault grew up in Potter County, Pennsylvania and was a graduate of Galeton High School. Following high school, he attended Bucknell University and graduated in 1939 with a B.S. in economics. He then attended Dickinson School of Law and graduated with an LLB in 1942.
While in law school, Mr. Gault was accepted in the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He was given a delay of entry by J. Edgar Hoover to permit him to graduate from law school and take the Pennsylvania Bar exam. He passed the Pennsylvania Bar exam in 1942 and entered the FBI immediately thereafter, serving as a special agent on the west coast until 1946.
Mr. Gault came to Lycoming County in 1946 at the suggestion of his father who was a bank President in Mansfield and Coudersport. He served a perceptorship under Joseph Keliher. Jack was admitted to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on September 30, 1946. He was subsequently admitted to the Court of Common Pleas of Lycoming County in 1948 after serving a two year residency which was then a requirement. He was also admitted to the Federal District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Gault married Katherine (Kay) Webb on November 27, 1940. Kay predeceased him, on March 17, 2012. They raised two sons in Williamsport, John C. Gault, III and Jeffrey A. Gault.
Mr. Gault began his practice with Joseph Keliher and then joined Candor, Youngman & Gibson, later Candor, Youngman, Gibson & Gault, where he remained for the remainder of his career. His career concentrated in real estate and industrial finance. He was instrumental in forming the Industrial Properties Corporation and the Lycoming County Industrial Development Authority which attracted industry to Lycoming County by making available favorable financing. He served on the Williamsport Redevelopment Authority and the boards of the Saving Institution, First National Bank of Williamsport, the YMCA and Wildwood Cemetery Association. He served for 10 years as secretary for the Board of Directors of the Consolidated Sportsmen of Lycoming County. He was a past President of the Lycoming Law Association in 1971 and the Lycoming Day Nursery Center. He was past Master of Lodge 755 (F&AM Dietrick Lamade Lodge).
The Boy Scouts of America, Susquehanna Council (at the time, the West Branch Council) presented the Silver Beaver Award to Mr. Gault in 1973.
Mr. Gault was an avid outdoorsman whose many skills included: hunting, fishing, bee keeping, waterfowl carving, furniture building, skiing and golf.
Mr. Gault died October 26, 2014 at age 97.
Charles King Geddes
Charles King Geddes was of Scotch-Irish descent. His great great-grandfather, James Geddes, with his wife, and three sons, Paul, William and Samuel, emigrated from County Antrim, Ireland, to Pennsylvania, in 1752. William afterward settled in Cumberland County and was the father of seven children. John, his second son, born in 1766, studied medicine, and practiced at Newville, Cumberland County, until his death in 1740. He married Elizabeth Peebles, (laughter of Captain William Peebles of the Revolutionary army, who was killed in the battle of Long Island in 1776. They had nine children. John Peebles Geddes, their third child, born in 1799, studied medicine and practiced with his father until his death, in 1837. In 1825, he married Catherine Irwin Maclay, daughter of Hon. William Maclay, of Fannettsburg, Franklin County, Pennsylvania. William Maclay’s father, John Maclay, was born in County Antrim, Ireland, May 10, 1734, just fourteen days before his father, Charles Maclay, with his wife and infant son, sailed for Pennsylvania. They settled first in Chester County, removing in 1741 to what is now Lurgen Township, Franklin County. John Maclay was an ardent patriot during the Revolution, and was a delegate to the Provincial Conference which met June 18, 1776, in Carpenter’s Hall, in Philadelphia. He afterwards served three terms in the Pennsylvania legislature. His brothers, William and Samuel, were identified with the history of the West Branch Valley during its early days, and both were afterwards United States Senators from this state. John Maclay had nine children, William, the fifth child, was born in 1765 and settled in Fannettsburg. He served two terms in the house, and one term in the senate in Pennsylvania, and also two terms in Congress. He was then appointed President Judge of Franklin County. He had twelve children. Catherine, his fifth child, born 1799, married Dr. John Peebles Geddes, in 1825. She died in Williamsport, December 22, 1873. They had six children.
Charles King Geddes, their fifth child, was born in Newville, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, October 2, 1834. His father, dying in 1837 left him, with his brothers and sisters, to the care of the widowed mother. But she was of sturdy Scotch-Irish stock, and though of slender means, determined to give her children a good education. In 1844 she removed to Chambersburg, where Charles attended the academy. In September 1849, he entered the sophomore class of Jefferson College, at Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, where he was graduated August 4, 1852. He then engaged in teaching. He taught at Pittsburgh; was principal of Millwood Academy, at Shady Gap, Pennsylvania; also of the public schools of New London, Missouri, and Kittanning, Pennsylvania, and of the preparatory department of Jefferson College, where he received his M. A. degree. In 1857 he studied law with James H. Hopkins, of Pittsburgh, and was admitted to the Allegheny County bar, September 5, 1858. His health failing, he resumed teaching. He taught in Virginia for one year; was principal of Mount Lebanon Academy, near Pittsburgh; at McNair’s Academy, Summitt, Mississippi, and New Orleans, Louisiana; and in St. Thomas Hall Military Institute, Holly Springs, Mississippi. While at the latter place the Civil War broke out, and two months later he succeeded in returning home.
In October 1861, he took charge of the academy at Williamsburg, Blair county, Pennsylvania, and in April 1862, he became principal of the Savannah Male and Female Academy, at Savannah, Ashland County, Ohio. On June 28, 1864, he resigned this position and on September 26, 1864, he located in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. November 22, 1864 he was admitted to the Lycoming County bar and thereafter practiced his profession here.
Mr. Geddes married, on January 28, 1874, Sarah, eldest daughter of Henry Sproul, of Williamsport, formerly of Pittsburgh. She died February 9, 1891, leaving two children, Margaret, born 1876,and John Maclay, born in 1881. In religion Mr. Geddes, like all of his ancestors for the last 200 years, was a Presbyterian of the old school. In politics he was a Democrat, but never held any public office. He died June 2, 1908.
James Frederick Gehr
J. Frederick Gehr was born on April 5, 1910, in Erie, Pennsylvania, the son of Rev. Dr. George F. and Mary L. Pansing Gehr. Following his education in the Wilkerson and Bethlehem public schools Mr. Gehr graduated from Muhlenberg College in 1932 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. In 1935 he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Having graduated from law school in the midst of the Great Depression, Mr. Gehr decided to accept employment at the Traveler’s Insurance Company as a claims adjuster. He first worked in Reading, PA, but accepted a transfer to Williamsport upon the condition that the transfer to “the sticks” be for the limited period of two (2) years. However, he met Margaret Reeder while here and never returned to the southeastern part of the Commonwealth.
During World War II he served as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy performing duties in Boston, Massachusetts and Barber’s Point, Hawaii. He entered as an Ensign in March of 1943, and was discharged as a Lieutenant in November of 1945. After the war Mr. Gehr decided to open a private practice and asked Judge Larrabee for advice on a location that would be prosperous. The Judge recommended Hughesville and Fred opened his office on February 1, 1946.
Fred was admitted to practice before the several courts of Lycoming County and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. He was a member of the Lycoming Law Association and the Pennsylvania and American Bar Associations. He was the President of the Lycoming Law Association for the year 1966. He was an attorney in the Hughesville area for 44 years from 1946 to 1990 when he retired. He was a member of the Joint State Government Commission Advisory Committee on Decedent’s Estates. Mr. Gehr served as Solicitor of the Hughesville School District, which later became the East Lycoming School District, from 1948 to 1980, a period of 32 years. The Pennsylvania School Boards Association recognized him with an award for outstanding service to education as the solicitor of that district.
He was an active member of the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hughesville where he served as adult Sunday school teacher, member of the church council, long term member of the church choir, a member of the board of social ministry, board member of the Gettysburg Theological Seminary and the parliamentarian of the Lutheran Synod. His fraternal affiliations included the Muncy Lodge, 299 F&AM where he was a former trustee and Past Master. He was a member of the Williamsport Consistory serving as degree master for the 18th degree and as Most Wise Master of the Chapter of Rose Croix. He received his honorary 33rd degree in 1971 in Philadelphia.
Within the Hughesville community he was past president of the Rotary Club where he was a member for 48 years. He was the Judge Advocate for American Legion Post 35. The Borough of Hughesville and the surrounding area benefited greatly from his many years of devotion to public service.
Fred’s hobbies included beekeeping and photography. He and his wife, Margaret Gehr, maintained an extensive garden behind their home in Hughesville, said garden being as large as one full building lot. Fred was the consummate gentleman-attorney. His standards were high and his ethics and honesty unquestioned. He gave wise and insightful advice and counsel. He was methodical and precise in his work, was always approachable, and took the time to listen carefully. Fred’s wife, the former Margaret Reeder, a lifelong resident of the Borough of Hughesville, was the center of his life. Their daughter, Joanna G. Andrews, and their son, Andrew Gehr, benefited greatly from the devotion of their father. Fred and Margaret were married on September 28, 1940, in Hughesville, and celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary prior to Fred’s death. They had six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Fred was predeceased by two brothers, Paul and Luther, and was survived by a sister, Virginia G. Stackel.
J. Frederick Gehr was a Christian gentleman, a devoted husband and father, an active member of his church and community, a good and successful attorney, an active Mason and Rotarian, and a caring, patient and kind friend. He was humble in spirit and in deed. He was not humble because of weakness or fear but was humble because of strength and knowledge. He knew his Creator and accepted God’s grace. Mr. Gehr was a member of what has been called the “Greatest Generation” that endured the Great Depression but never lost hope in the American system; a generation that sacrificed greatly so democracy would find victory over totalitarianism. His ideals were focused on the fundamental aspects of a good life: religion, family, community and patriotism.
Fred Gehr died in 2002.
Harry Roman Gibson
Harry R. Gibson was born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania on April 14, 1905. Harry graduated from Williamsport High School in 1924. He graduated from Lafayette College with a B.S. degree in 1928 and from Columbia Law School with a LL.B. degree in 1931.
Mr. Gibson was admitted to practice before the several courts of the County of Lycoming in 1931. He practiced continuously until 1991, when he retired as a member of the law firm of Candor, Youngman, Gibson and Gault. He was also admitted to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
Harry Gibson served his country during World War II in the Navy and upon completion of the War, he returned to the practice of law in Williamsport.
On May 14, 1932 he married the former Margaret Lundy who predeceased him on August 29, 1991.
As a part of the history of Williamsport, Harry Gibson long will be remembered for his tireless devotion to the growth of the community. When the call went out for city improvements or charitable service, he met the challenges head-on. Of particular interest to him was Williamsport Hospital. A member of its board of managers since 1951 and president of the board of trustees for many years, he was a dominant force behind the growth of the hospital. During his tenure, a rehabilitation center bearing his name, a nurses' residence and a psychiatric treatment center were added.
In addition, Mr. Gibson served as director and counsel for the Industrial Properties Corporation. During his tenure, he was instrumental with many others in establishing 20 area industries and the expansion of 30 others, which created about 4,000 new jobs for this area.
Harry Gibson was a longtime advisory board member of the Williamsport Home, served on the YMCA board of trustees; was director of the Lycoming County chapter of the American Red Cross; president of the Lycoming Welfare Council and chairman of the 1940 Community Chest campaign, forerunners of the Lycoming United Way, and a board member of Northern Central Bank and corporate counsel and counsel for the trust department of Northern Central Bank.
He received the Grit Award for Meritorious Achievement Citation; the 26th Annual Brotherhood Award of the local chapter of National Conference of Christians and Jews; and the Lycoming United Way Award.
Harry Gibson died in 1997.
Charles Edmund Gilmore
Charles Edmund Gilmore was born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, on July 2, 1885, the son of Walter C. Gilmore, Esquire, and Jennie Rentz Gilmore. After being graduated from the public schools of Williamsport, he attended Lafayette College, taking his degree in 1908. While in college, he was a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, an honor which he particularly cherished.
As was the custom of the day when one wished to become a member of the legal profession, Ed Gilmore entered his father’s law offices, where he “read law” for three years. In 1911, he was admitted to our Lycoming County bar, and went into practice with his father. This association lasted until his father’s death in 1919, after which Mr. Gilmore remained a sole practitioner until 1961, when ill health forced him to retire.
During World War I, Ed served as a military instructor at Lafayette College, then later enrolled in the Army Officers Training School at Plattsburg, New York, where he was serving at the time of the Armistice. He became, therefore, one of the earliest members of Garrett Cochran Post #1, American Legion.
He was also active in Lycoming Law Association, becoming its president in 1940. Further, he was a charter member of the Tiadaughton Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, and served as its first vice president.
In politics Ed Gilmore was a lifelong Democrat. Although he served as president of the Democratic Club, and had been very active therein, he never was elected to an office. He ran for the Democratic nomination for District Attorney in 1915, but lost to Charles F. Greevy, Sr. He was studious, an omnivorous reader, and remarkably knowledgeable. He conversed brilliantly, and was most ingratiating.
As an attorney, he was most proficient, both in substantive and procedural law. It was said of him that he was fundamentally a counselor and solicitor, rather than a barrister. His judgment on many professional matters was much sought, even after his retirement.
Though he had the appearance of health, he was far therefrom, since in early manhood he suffered a lung ailment which weakened him so that he fatigued easily and needed much rest. This was doubtlessly the contributing factor which caused him to confine himself to office practice rather than court work.
He was a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and, having a fine bass voice in his younger years, was also a member of the renowned “Orpheus Club”, a choral group known far and wide for its excellence.
In 1917, he married Jeanne Kelenbach of Williamsport, who predeceased him. He was survived by a daughter, Jeanne Tallman; a sister, Anna Gilmore; and two grandchildren. His death occurred September 6, 1962.
Walter C. Gilmore
Walter C. Gilmore was born in Eldred Township, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, November 26, 1859, son of John and Rachel (Willits) Gilmore, the former a native of Northumberland County, and the latter of Lycoming County, and descended from a Scotch-Irish family. The name Gilimore, or Gilismore, is Scotch and means “shield-bearer.” In the marriage certificate of John Gilmore, father of Walter C., the name is spelled Gillmore, and he thus kept the family record in his own handwriting until 1859, when some other hand took up the record, and the final “I” was dropped.
The pioneer ancestor of the Gilmore family in America was Thomas Gilmore who was born in Belfast, Ireland, of Scotch parentage. Thomas came to America and settled in New Hampshire. in 1775, he enlisted in the Revolutionary war as a private in Captain Town’s company, Colonel Gilman’s regiment, for one year’s service; and at the expiration of the term of enlistment at once enrolled in Captain Fairwell’s company in the same regiment, commanded in turn by Colonels James Reed and Joseph Tilley. He participated in the most eventful campaigns and hotly contested battles of that stirring period, including the engagement at Three Rivers, the battle of Trenton, the operations around New York which resulted in Burgoyne’s surrender, the historic battle of Monmouth and General Sullivan’s expedition. He was discharged at Pompton, New Jersey, in the summer of 1779. The following year he settled in Berwick, where he spent the remainder of his life. He married Rachel Young, daughter of Nicholas and Rachel Young, her father being a German and her mother an English Quakeress. The wife of Thomas Gilmore was born on the farm on which her father had lived as early as 1773.
John Gilmore, the father of Walter C. Gilmore, was born in 1814, near Northumberland, Pennsylvania. He was reared as a farmer, and early learned the trade of a hatter. After mastering that calling, he had the unique distinction of driving the stage coach, carrying the mail from Northumberland to Williamsport, with his two brothers, George and Joseph in the early sixties, making the trip in relays. The brothers were stationed at Northumberland, McEwensville and Williamsport. Due to the condition of the roads in those days the trip took three days.
About 1850 John Gilmore bought a farm in Eldred Town ship, later moving to Hepburn Township. On October 25, 1842, he married Rachel Willits. She was of English ancestry, and was born near Warrensville in 1826. Her father taught school, and died at his school teacher’s desk, when but a young man, leaving a number of small children.
Walter C. Gilmore attended the common schools of the town ship, the Muncy Normal and Lafayette College, where he was valedictorian of his class. He taught school in Lenox, Massachusetts, and was principal of the Williamsport High School (1885- 86). He then read law in the office of Hon. Robert P. Allen, and was admitted to the bar, July 2, 1887. He was district attorney in 1890-93, and president of the Lycoming Law Association in 1916. He was active in Democratic politics, and served as its county chairman for two years. He was a member of all the Masonic bodies, and a Past Master of Lodge No. 106. In 1878-79, he was a member of Company D, 12th Regiment, National Guard of Pennsylvania.
On October 6, 1884, Mr. Gilmore married Jennie Rentz, daughter of Charles A. and Sarah Rentz. They were the parents of three children, the eldest of whom was Charles Edmund Gilmore, born July 2, 1885, another member of the Lycoming County bar. Mr. Walter C. Gilmore died April 29, 1919.
Charles Fritcher Greevy, Sr.
Charles F. Greevy was born in Williamsport, September 15, 1877, the son of Luke and Anna Bolich Greevy. He attended the public schools and Dickinson Seminary, graduating from the latter. He then entered the law office of the late Charles Bartles, and was admitted to the bar February 10, 1900. From 1916-19, he was district attorney. He was at one time vice chairman of the Democratic County Committee, a past president of the Young Men’s Democratic Club, past Noble Grand, I.O.O.F., past Exalted Ruler, Williamsport Lodge No. 173, B.P.O.E., a member of the F.O.E., and the Williamsport Wheel Club; a member of Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, now Immanuel Evangelical and Re formed Church of the United Church of Christ, president of its church council, a teacher in the Sunday School and an active member for many years.
On July 20, 1904, he married Clara W. Tepel, daughter of Frederick and Christine (Stinhard) Tepel. Mr. and Mrs. Greevy were the parents of three children, Evelyn M., widow of Oscar J. Finster; Judge Charles F. Jr., and Lester L. Charles and Lester were also members of this bar.
After his term as district attorney he was publically commended by the Court and its probation officers for his special interest on behalf of neglected and abandoned children.
During the latter years of his life, Mr. Greevy suffered from what proved to be a fatal malady, and although thus seriously handicapped, he continued to carry on by reason of an indomitable will and sheer courage, not yielding until shortly before his death, which occurred on February 26, 1936.
Lester Leroy Greevy, Sr.
Lester Leroy Greevy, Sr. was born January 6, 1920, at Williams port, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Charles Fritcher Greevy and Clara Tepel Greevy. He died February 17, 1985.
His father served as district attorney of Lycoming County from 1916 to 1919. Lester L. Greevy attended Williamsport public schools where he was a letterman on the varsity football team. He graduated from Williamsport High School in 1937 and attended Dickinson College, graduating with a bachelor of philosophy degree in 1941. On October 6, 1943, he graduated from the Dickinson School of Law, receiving his bachelor of laws degree which later became a juris doctor degree.
Following his graduation from law school, Mr. Greevy entered the United States Navy as an apprentice seaman serving in the South Pacific. He was commissioned an ensign in 1945 and was first in his class at officer’s training school at Sampson Naval Base and Cornell University in New York. He was assigned as a navigation officer on an LST again in the South Pacific.
He was admitted to practice before the several courts of Lycoming County on September 13, 1946, and practiced law with his brother, Charles F. Greevy, from that time until his brother became judge of Lycoming County in 1952. He practiced as a partner in several firms, including: Greevy and Greevy; Greevy, Greevy and Knittle; Greevy, Knittle, Fisher and Rice; Greevy and Knittle; Greevy, Knittle and Mitchell; and—from 1976 until the time of his death—Greevy, Greevy and Greevy in partnership with his son, Lester L. Greevy, Jr. and his nephew, Charles F. Greevy, III.
He was solicitor for Loyalsock Township School District from 1952 until the time of his death and became solicitor for Loyalsock Township in 1968. He served as a hearing examiner for the Pennsylvania State Sales Tax Appeals Board from 1957 until 1961. He was Lycoming County solicitor from 1968 until 1972 and from 1976 until 1980.
Mr. Greevy was admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and the Commonwealth, Superior and Supreme Courts of Pennsylvania. His law practice covered a wide spectrum from criminal law (in his early years) to civil law, real estate law, estate planning and administration and municipal law. He also served as a court appointed divorce master for a short time prior to his death.
He was a member of the Lycoming Law Association, having served as president in 1964. He was a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, having served as a member of the public relations committee from 1964 to 1974 and was a member of the American Bar Association.
His religious affiliation was with the New Covenant United Church of Christ. An active Mason, he joined the John F. Laedlein Lodge No. 707 F. and A.M., the Williamsport Consistory, A.A.S.R., the Irem Temple Shrine, and Williamsport Shrine Club. He was president of Williamsport Exchange Club, and held life membership in the Wheel Club. He belonged to the Williamsport Country Club and was an active golfer. He participated in veterans’ affairs through Howard Kahler Post 844, V.F.W., and held life membership in Williamsport Elks Lodge 173. Additionally, he joined the Williams- port Chamber of Commerce, and held life membership in the Grays Run Club, of which he had been president for two terms and was vice president at the time of his death. He immensely enjoyed hunting and fishing.
Lester Greevy served on the Harry Plankenhorn Foundation for 39 years and enjoyed 17 consecutive terms as its president.
Early in his career, Mr. Greevy was associated with his brother, Charles F. Greevy, and with Charles H. Bidelspacher in the famous Williamsport Wire Rope v. Bethlehem Steel case. Later in his practice, he acquired expertise in municipal law.
Lester Leroy Greevy was married on November 1, 1941, to Clara Virginia Kinkade. They have three sons, Lester L. Greevy, Jr., who was a law partner of his father at the time of the latter’s death; Richard K. Greevy, an engineer; and Michael S. Greevy, a psychologist. He had five grandchildren.
62From the 30th reunion class book of the Class of 1873, Princeton University, courtesy of Henry L. Savage, Archivist of the university.
63The First One Hundred Years of County Superintendency in Lycoming County, 1854-1954, Williamsport, 1954, p. 15ff; Common Schools of Pennsylvania: Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction for the year ending June 1, 1877, Hbg, 1878.
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